Sep. 29, 2015

Tool Tip Tuesday! The Arc Tool

The Arc Tool

The Arc tool allows you to draw curved line segments. The arcs are perfect quarter-circle arcs when you draw them.

To draw a smooth arc:
1. Click on the Arc  tool. The cursor changes to a pencil

2. Move the cursor to the point where you want the arc to start.

3. Hold down the left mouse button and drag to where you want the arc to stop.

4. Release the mouse to complete the action.

If you never touch the arc with the Shape tool, it will retain its perfect circular shape.

• When you release the mouse, the arc may seem to move a bit from where you released it. This is because lines and arcs drawn in EasyDraw™ will snap to points on a grid. This is the default setting. The number of points in the grid can be adjusted using the Drawing Board Setup and the Precision Bar.

Remember that all segments must be connected to the outside edge of the block or to one another. Snapping to a grid helps ensure that your lines and arcs are connected.

• Pressing the Spacebar on your keyboard will toggle between the Arc tool and the Shape tool.

Zoom in as closely as possible to check your drawing. This is especially helpful when editing because a small area in normal view can appear quite large when you zoom.

• If your curve starts to draw opposite the direction you want, press the Spacebar on your keyboard while drawing your arc to change its direction.

• If you’d like a reminder of this and other tools in EQ7, check out the  Display Dynamic Help tool.
• To print this: Click the title (Tool Tip Tuesday! -  The Arc Tool) and then print as normal.

Sep. 27, 2015

EQStitch Sunday Stitch #9

I am always under a deadline for something so I need to get creative really fast.  Maybe you find the same thing happening when you need a last minute gift.  I love using the tools in EQStitch to quickly develop a design ready to be stitched in minutes.

1.  Double click on the EQStitch icon on the desktop to launch the program.

2.  Once your program opens, name a project file for yourself. I am calling mine ‘Variation on Dresden Plate’. Be sure to click ‘OK ‘ at the bottom of the box.

3.  If you have been changing your settings in the program for other projects, be sure to reset the defaults for the project before you start.

Click on FILE>Preferences and restore the default settings.

Relaunch the program and open the project file named ‘Variation on Dresden Plate’.

4.  Click on the ‘stitch worktable’ icon at the top of the screen. 

5.  Click on the ‘drawing board options box’ to change the options for this projects drawing.

Set the Embroidery Fill stitch to ‘smooth’ and the Embroidery Edge Stitch to ‘no edge’.  Be sure to click the ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box to set the new preferences.

6.  Click on the ‘hide/show patch’ icon on the properties bar at the top of the screen to turn the patch off.

Click and hold down on the ‘polygon’ tool to get the fly out menu.  

Click on the 4th icon in the menu  to select the diamond shape.

Move the cursor over to the drawing board and start at the center of the board and drag upwards to create a diamond that falls directly on the vertical line.

7.  Click on the ‘shape tool’ to select it.  Move the cursor over to the diamond shape and click once directly on the line drawing to see the edit nodes.

Using the shape tool, click/hold/drag/release the side nodes upwards so they create a point at the top of the shape which resembles a Dresden Plate blade.

8.  Click on the blade shape with the ‘pick tool’ to select the new object shape.

Click on the ‘wreathmaker icon’ on the properties bar at the top of the screen.

In the wreathmaker box, set the number of clusters to 12, cluster spacing to 100%, and resize cluster to 100%. Click ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box.

The variation of a dresden plate is now on the artwork tab.

9.  Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen.

Click on the ‘set thread’ tool on the toolbar.

Click on any thread color to select it and then click on the fan blade to color the fill stitches.

Click on the ‘set fill stitches’ tool on the toolbar and select a different fill type for every other fan blade.

I love the dramatic look of this variation on the Dresden Plate design.  When stitched with bright color threads on a dark background fabric, you can really see the inner star shape that appears between the blades.  This would make a nice design for a pillow top.  It stitches fairly quickly and you can produce a nice unique gift made by you in no time at all.

Sep. 24, 2015

Prismatic Plants: A Finished Quilt

Have you stitched up any of our free monthly downloads in fabrics? I finally finished up my Prismatic Plants quilt last week–just in time to hang it up and enjoy it this fall!

The wonderful thing about being able to open these free projects in EQ7 is that I can easily make changes to the design to make it fit exactly what I want to make.

I knew I wanted to make a quilt that would hang in the wall space above our fireplace. The original design finished at 34″ x 34″, which was a few inches too big for the space. So I opened the quilt project in EQ7, clicked the Layout tab and changed the finished block size from 8″ to 7″.

I also knew I didn’t want a border on this quilt, so I switched to the Borders tab and clicked the Delete button to get rid of the existing border.

Those two easy changes made the quilt 28″ x 28″. Perfectly sized for the wall space I have available!

The last change I made was to the block itself. I deleted some seam lines in the leaves because I planned to make each half of the leaf all the same fabric, and there was no reason to have that extra seam in the “body” of the leaf. Plus, I was foundation-piecing the leaves, so who cares about funky-shaped triangles!

Tell me in the comments– have you ever made any of our free project downloads? If so, did you make any changes to the project, or sew it up just as it was designed?

Sep. 22, 2015

Week 4 of Marian Pena’s Row-A-Long! Free projects, tutorials & prizes!

Week 4 of Marian Pena’s Row-A-Long is here! Be sure to check out what people have been making in the Flickr group, and the Facebook group is also great for more info and pictures.

There are six talented designers posting today! (See the whole schedule here.)





Here’s who is posting today:

Nancy Myers at Patchwork Breeze

Nancy Myers-2015 Fence Block

Linda Franz  at

Linda Franz / Inklingo

Carla Henton at Creatin’ in the Sticks

Creatin' in the Sticks

Patti Carey at Patti’s Patchwork

Patti's Patchwork

Anneka Kornelis at Stof Genoeg

Marian Pena at Seams To Be Sew

Seams to Be Sew

Here are the prizes for this week:
Northcott Fabrics
6-8 yards of fabric in 1 yard lengths
Fat Quarter Shop
: 1 $25.00 gift certificate.
: Astuccio (Basic Colors) 50 wt / 4 Large 1422 yd spools
: pack containing 6 spools at 500 yards per spool
Cherry Blossom
: 1 $25.00 gift certificate.
Seams To Be Sew
: An extras block pack from Marian’s Fall row – 5 of these will be given away.
: 1 class of your choice – 3 total classes
Nancy’s Notions
: 1 $10.00 of gift certificate – 2 total certificates
(See a list of all the prizes here.)

Please visit the designer’s blogs to enter!

Visit Marian’s site for more details and to see the rules and guidelines.

And don’t forget, later this month we’ll be giving away an EQ7!

Sep. 22, 2015

Tool Tip Tuesday! – The Pick Tool

The Pick Tool

Use the Pick tool to select segments of your block. Once a segment is selected, you can delete it by clicking the Delete key on your keyboard.

You can move, resize and rotate segments in EasyDraw™, but it is strongly recommended that if you do any of these options, that you convert the selected segments to guides and redraw them. This will ensure that your segment’s endpoints are snapping to grid points. Snapping occurs when you draw, but it may not when you move.

To Select and Delete a Segment

Click on a segment to select it. Eight black nodes will appear around the segment. Click the Delete key on your keyboard to delete the segment.

 To Move a Segment

Click to select the segment. Hold your cursor over a corner or side node until the cursor changes to a 4-arrow crosshair . Click, hold and drag the segment to move it to a new location. Convert to guides and redraw to ensure you are snapping to grid points.

To Resize a Segment

Click to select the segment. Hold your cursor over a corner or side node until the cursor changes to a double-ended arrow . Click, hold and drag the segment to resize it. Convert to guides and redraw to ensure you are snapping to grid points.

To Rotate a Segment

Click to select the segment. Ctrl+click on the 4-arrow crosshair in the center of your segment. The nodes will turn into double-ended arrows. Hold your cursor over a corner arrow, click and turn the segment to rotate it. Convert to guides and redraw to ensure you are snapping to grid points.

You can also Rotate and Resize your block segments using the Context menu. Right+click on the Block worktable to make the menu appear.

• If you’d like a reminder of this and other tools in EQ7, check out the  Display Dynamic Help tool.
• To print this: Click the title (Tool Tip Tuesday! -  The Pick Tool) and then print as normal.

Sep. 20, 2015

EQStitch Sunday Stitch #8

How many of you are ‘Cross over Crafters’?  By this I mean, how many of you do more than one type of crafting and use the elements of one type of craft in another type of craft.  I suspect many of you are like this.  It is great that our EQ program allows us to be quilters and machine embroidery enthusiasts and combine the two loves in one program. But, I do more than that.  I often use the artwork in the EQ7 side of the program and capture it to use in other programs.  I often just print the artwork onto fabric and then use that as the guidelines for my free motion thread painting.

EQStitch allows me to create designs that I use in quilting, home decor, clothing, and crafting of all sorts.  A very simple design can add an impressive expression to other projects.  Have you ever stitched on card stock?  Did you know you can stitch right through the paper to create a one of a kind special card for someone?

1.  Open your EQStitch program and click on the ‘stitch worktable’ icon.

Click on the ‘drawing board options’ icon on the properties bar at the top of the screen.

In the drawing board options box, set the embroidery edge setting to be a running stitch and the embroidery fill setting to be a no fill property. Be sure to click the ‘OK’ in the bottom of the box to set the new drawing board properties.

2.  Click on LIBRARIES>Block Library>EQ7 Library>07 Stencils>Wreaths.  Scroll all the way to the end of the selections and locate the ‘Petals Stencil’ and click on it to select it.

Click on ‘add to sketchbook’ in the bottom of the box.  Click on the word ‘close’ to close the library box.

Click on the ‘view sketchbook’ icon at the top of the screen.

Click on the Blocks tab on the left and then click on the stencil tab at the top of the sketchbook box.  Click on the word ‘edit’ in the bottom of the sketchbook.

3.  The design will open on the block worktable because that is where it was created.  We need to copy the artwork to use it on the stitch worktable.

Click on EDIT>Select all and the click on EDIT>Copy to place a copy of the artwork onto the windows clipboard.


Click on the stitch worktable icon at the top of the screen.

Mover the cursor over to the drawing board area and RIGHT CLICK>Paste to place the design artwork onto the stitch worktable.

Click on the ‘center selected objects’ icon on the property bar at the top of the screen.

While the design is still selected, RIGHT >Resize.  

In the resize box, set the size to 50% horizontal and vertical.  Be sure to click the ‘OK’ in the bottom of the resize box.

4.  Click on the stitch tab at the bottom of the screen.

Click on the ‘set thread’ icon on the toolbar.

Click on any thread color to select it and then click on each element to color the design.

Add the design to the sketchbook.

5.  Click on STITCHING>Export Stitching file.

In the export box, type the name for the design and select the file format you need for your machine.

AT THE MACHINE--Fold an 8 x 11 inch card stock piece of paper into quarters.  Apply sticky back stabilizer to the back side of the lower right quadrant of the card stock paper.  This will prevent the needle from punching out the design area of the paper with the needle.  Hoop sticky back stabilizer with the protective paper removed and the sticky side facing up in the hoop.  Lay the card stock onto the hooped stabilizer with the lower right quadrant of the paper centered in the hoop and apply pressure to the card to adhere it to the stabilizer.  Stitch the Petals design with a sparkly metallic thread for a shimmering snowflake type of design. Remove the design from the hoop and remove the excess stabilizer.  Fold the card back into the quadrants.  Now the back of the stitches are covered with the card stock and you can hand write a message on the inside.

Congratulations!  You just combined scrap booking/card making with machine embroidery by using a quilt stencil design!


Sep. 17, 2015

Christa Watson’s Book Tour, free project & EQ7 GIVEAWAY!

Machine Quilting with Style by Christa Watson

This contest is closed. We’ve contacted the winner – check your email!

We are participating in Christa’s book tour for her new book Machine Quilting With Style. Read below to see how Christa designed her quilts with EQ7 and enter to win the program!!

We just love the quilts in this book! And yes, they were designed in EQ7!! EQ Artist, Teacher and Author, Christa Watson tells us about herself, her book and how she uses Electric Quilt design software to create such fantastic quilts.

I am super excited about my brand new book, Machine Quilting With Style. It includes 12 complete patterns along with step-by-step instructions on how to quilt them on your home sewing machine.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching others the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish, and it thrills me to no end when I help someone conquer their fear of machine quilting. For beginners, I recommend trying out some of the designs that utilize your walking foot for quilting. In the book I show several alternatives to plain-old stitching in the ditch. Once you are comfortable with the process, I encourage you to give free-motion quilting a try. It’s not as scary as you think and the key to success is letting go of imperfection (along with a little practice)!

Christa WatsonFor me, designing quilts is just as fun as making them, which is why I love using EQ7. Many times, I’ll have an inkling of an idea but am not sure where it will take me. I start by sketching out a basic block or quilt design in EQ. From there, I will make several variations – changing sizes, adding or removing lines, testing layout options, and building several versions of the quilt. In fact, I’ve created many different quilt designs that you would never know all originated from the same idea! I’ll also audition multiple colorways and love that I can easily import swatches of fabrics that I plan to use.

Recently I have been playing around with adding quilting motifs to my quilts, because I also like to know what the quilting will look like before I start!

Once I’m happy with the design of the quilt, then I’ll create a rough pattern to work from. I’ll figure out the math and write out the steps to make the quilt. That way I can follow my own directions, and pattern test the quilt as I go, making notes along the way.

 FacetsUsing EQ7 really came in handy when I submitted my book proposal to the publisher. I was able to show them all of my design ideas in full color and they approved every single one with great enthusiasm!

I’ve included images of some of the design sketches I created in EQ7, and you can see how closely they resemble the actual quilts in the book!

My personal favorite quilt from the book is Facets. I used some of my favorite solid colors and am excited that they will soon be available as a precut bundle through Robert Kaufman. Just look for the “Christa Watson Designer Palette” in October. In fact, I love these colors so much, I created another design using them called Puzzle Box. It was so helpful being able to use the Kona Cotton Palette directly in EQ while I designed! Of course this quilt would look great in your favorite fabrics, too!

Puzzle BoxI’m offering my design, Puzzle Box, as a free EQ7 download as my way of saying thanks to the EQ community who have supported me in my journey.

CLICK HERE for Christa’s free EQ7 project download, “Puzzle Box.”

CLICK HERE for the blog hop schedule, giveaways and to see all the quilts in the book.

CLICK HERE to get your copy of Christa’s new book, Machine Quilting with Style.


To win your very own EQ7 (for PC or Mac), leave a comment answering this question: If you had EQ7, what would your first project be?

(Winner will be chosen at random. Contest ends Friday, September 25th at 9am. One comment per person.)

Click below to see more of Christa’s EQ7 designs and how closely they match her finished quilts!

Lightning Focal Point Square in a Square

Love Christa’s style? Want to learn EQ7?

Sign up for Christa’s EQ7 class: Getting Started with EQ7!

EQ Academy 2016